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An entrepreneur’s guide to changing career paths into a corporate role

Social media expert and experienced entrepreneur, Golden Ashby, explains how entrepreneurs can effectively make the transition from being their own boss into a corporate role…


There are many awe-inspiring entrepreneurs out there who have learnt more than the traditional employee and they would transition very effectively into corporate roles, if given the right opportunity. The key is being happy doing what you love. Your work takes up a majority of your life, so chances are you will be much happier if you love your working environment. That’s why I went to college for nearly a decade, achieved three degrees, including my MBA, to give me the opportunity to attain my dream career.

I am just starting my transition but have already been asked this question multiple times. If you have been so successful as an entrepreneur why do you want to work full time for somebody else?

My response is simple. I have dedicated (almost) the past decade to building my personal brand in order to make me feel more confident with my disability. Now that I have been so successful at doing that, I am now dedicating everything to finding a well-established company I can grow with and use everything I have learned from being an elite entrepreneur to building an awesome company’s brand image in the same way.

It is important to start off your discussions with hiring managers by making it very clear that you are prepared and look forward to dedicating everything to their company. I promote the fact that I have countless professional recommendations that support the fact that I will fit right into that company culture and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Best practices is to showcase your entrepreneurial achievements and show people you are proud of them. I do this on my website, LinkedIn, Twitter, even created a digital portfolio board on Pinterest and show off my successes everywhere I am online.

Image credit: Getty images

It is well known that successful entrepreneurs are very passionate about what they do and are very driven to create results. It is important to accentuate that this is just another business decision, that will achieve the same results as your past ones. I do this by featuring the fact that I was the senior social media strategist and community manager that worked hand in hand with corporate Union Bank and launched their first ever social media marketing presence.

Transitioning careers is similar to dating and you need to show hiring managers what makes you more desirable than the rest! I make sure and disclose how I keep current on the latest social media changes and digital marketing tactics as the Global President of the Social Media Club (the largest professional social media organisation in the world), where I holistically lead large teams internationally in digital marketing, email campaigns, advertising, website development, partnerships, sponsorships and social media management as we mentor hundreds of chapters across the world on best practices and principles.

Savvy entrepreneurs are very passionate about what they do and are driven to create results. I will use Marcel LeBrun, the founder of Radian6 as an example. His company was acquired by Salesforce and is now part of its Marketing Cloud. Salesforce discerned that Marcels had savvy entrepreneur skills that would be beneficial as they advanced into the marketing technology space and hired him full time. Marcel followed his dream and led the Salesforce team as SVP & GM of marketing cloud which they grew both organically and through additional acquisitions.

Image credit: Getty images

It is crucial to understand that corporate leadership styles can be acutely different. The passion, vision and dauntless styles of the entrepreneur will more than likely need to evolve into the unflustered head of a professional manager. The entrepreneur needs to be open to feedback and use it to effectively grow the company they work for. Learning to give up control and trust others is crucial. I have found achieving results through others to the key to advancement, especially in the corporate world.

The way the economy is these days, people want and need to work. Best practices is to go into a career transition with your eyes wide open. I am very aware of what my limitations and my strengths are. I have already proven that I can be successful in multiple types of environments. Now I am only looking to advance my career with a company that has a culture that is aligned with my personal and professional values. Good luck with your own career transition endeavours and feel free to drop me a note anytime for advice or if you know of any opportunities that you think would be a good fit.

Originally posted on Virgin Group.